The park is composed of three NPS owned properties: Melrose, the William Johnson House, and the Fort Rosalie site, and a larger area known as the preservation district.
The pre-Civil War Melrose estate was built by a wealthy cotton planter. This Greek Revival mansion is complete with original furnishings and intact outbuildings and has been well maintained and preserved over the years. The 19th century furnishings collection at Melrose is of museum quality and is directly associated with estate owners.
William Johnson, a slave who was freed, started out as a barber and eventually owned several barber shops, rental property, a farm, and timberland; he also kept a lengthy personal and business diary that offers glimpses of antebellum southern life and relations between whites and free blacks. William Johnson's townhouse is in downtown Natchez.
Established by the French in 1716, Fort Rosalie was built on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, high above the insect-ridden bottomland. This site is scheduled to open to the public in August 2016.
The community of Natchez, the nonprofit Historic Natchez Foundation, and the National Park Service work in partnership to enhance the city's preservation landscape. Today, much of the city's antebellum and Reconstruction-era history maintains a high level of preservation through the designation of 8 National Register of Historic Places districts, 13 national historic landmarks, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized Forks of the Road slave market site. These preserved sites provide a collective historic context that includes NPS owned properties and strengthens educational and interpretive efforts between the National Park Service and the surrounding community.